What is App Privacy Report in iOS 15 and how you can use it?

What is App Privacy Report on iPhone and how you can use it

The moment you install an app, it asks for certain permissions from location data, camera access, to tracking consent. But do these apps use the permissions wisely or misuse them? Well,f the App Privacy Report feature in iOS 15.2 can show you all of that and more. But what exactly is App Privacy Report, and how can you use it? Let’s find out.

What is App Privacy Report in iOS 15?

In the past, Apple has introduced Privacy Nutrition Labels to make users aware of how much data an app collects from you. Then there are the green and orange dots that tell the user when their camera and microphone are used.

And now, iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 bring a full-blown, expose-all App Privacy Report feature. With it, you can see a seven-day history, or shall I say, report on when and how often apps access your data.

What is App Privacy Report on iPhone and iPad

In a way, it is quite similar to the Safari privacy report; just instead of Safari websites, it monitors the activities of iPhone/iPad apps. The App Privacy Report covers the following information:

  • Access to services and data like – location, camera, microphone, photos, etc.
  • Network Activity
    • App Network Activity
    • Website Network Activity
    • Most Contacted Domains

Now, between the Ad Tracking Transparency and the App Privacy Reports, Apple has all the notorious apps cornered. I love the control it gives us as users, so let’s cut down the chatter and get on with it.

Update alert

The feature is available in iOS 15.2/iPadOS 15.2 or later. So before we proceed, ensure that your iPhone and iPad are running the latest OS.

How to turn on App Privacy Report on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch SettingsPrivacy.
  2. Scroll down and tap App Privacy Report.
  3. Now tap Turn on App Privacy Report.
How to turn on App Privacy Report

For now, you might not see any history as the feature starts collecting information after you turn it on. However, as you start using other apps and start using your data and sensors, the list builds up.

Note: As usual, Apple takes utmost care of your privacy, and all the App Privacy Report data is encrypted and stored only on the device. Also, when you turn off the setting, all the data is cleared out.

How to view App Privacy Report on iPhone or iPad

To access the reports, go to SettingsPrivacyApp Privacy Report. As mentioned earlier, the setting collects data in multiple ways. So, let’s check out each of them individually.

Data & Sensor Access

This section lists the apps that have accessed your sensors and data within the past 7 days. It covers contacts, camera, location, microphone, photos, and media library.

  1. Tap Show All under the Data & Sensor Access section.
  2. Select the app from the list.
  3. Tap on the data or sensor you want to view.
  4. Here, you’ll find a detailed date and time-wise list of when was the data/sensor was used.
How to view App Privacy Report Data & Sensor Access

App Network Activity

It collects the domains(websites) an app has connected within the past 7 days. This will include connection to third-party services and websites, tracking and analytical tools, etc. For instance, news feed articles or embedded videos.

  1. Tap Show All under the App Network Activity section.
  2. Select the app.
  3. You’ll see a list of Domains contacted directly by the app.
  4. Tap Show all to view the complete list.
  5. Tap the domain to view more details about it.
How to view App Privacy Report App Network Activity

Website Network Activity

It works similarly to App Network Activity. But instead, it collects domains contacted by websites you have visited from the browser app within the past 7 days.

  1. Tap Show All or directly select the website from the list.
  2. Here, you’ll see a list of Domains contacted directly by website
  3. Tap Show All.
  4. Tap the domain to view more details about it.
How to view App Privacy Report Website Network Activity

Note: App Privacy Report doesn’t take private browsing sessions into account. That means any website or domain contacted during this period will not appear in the list.

Most Contacted Domain

As the name suggests, it collects frequently visited web domains by apps in the past 7 days, whether directly or via in-app web content.

  1. Tap Show All under the Most Contacted Domain section.
  2. Select the domain from the list.
  3. Here, you can see a list of apps that contacted this domain with date and time stamps.
How to view App Privacy Report Most Contacted Domain

Share App Privacy Report on iPhone or iPad

Quick Tip: Whenever you are presented with a list of apps, websites, and domains, you’ll spot a Sort By option on the top-right corner. Tap it rearrange the sequence according to Recent Access or Alphabetical.

How to view App Privacy Report App Network Activity
  1. Go to SettingsPrivacy App Privacy Report.
  2. Tap the Share icon from the top-right corner.
  3. Select the method/contact.
How to Share App Privacy Report on iPhone and iPad

How to turn off App Privacy Report on iPhone or iPad 

  1. Go to SettingsPrivacy App Privacy Report.
  2. Scroll down and select Turn Off App Privacy Report.
  3. Tap OK to confirm the action.
How to turn off App Privacy Report

How to manage privacy settings for individual apps

Frustrated by how much a certain app is tracking your activity? We have permitted them to preview our sensitive information, and we can revoke it anytime we want; here’s how.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and select the app.
  3. Under the Allow app to access section, select the sensor/data you want to change.
  4. Start/stop or adjust accordingly.
How to manage privacy settings for individual apps

Alternate method:

  1. Go to SettingsPrivacy.
  2. Select the sensor/data from the list.
  3. Tap on the app and adjust the setting accordingly.
How to change privacy settings iPhone and iPad

Happy privacy!

Undoubtedly, App Privacy Report brings a lot of information to the table. And all this can be overwhelming for most of us. But the point is not to scare anyone but to allow interested users to make an informed decision.

When you encounter websites and apps tracking you extensively, it is time to change some settings or let go of the app altogether. What are your thoughts on this situation? Do we have to choose between privacy and services; if yes, what do you choose?

For more interesting iOS 15 features, check out these guides:

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